Neev is a complete International Baccalaureate (IB) school following PYP, MYP and DP programs. The Expectations Handbook – Programme Standards and Practices -make explicit mention of its requirements in language development and mother tongue support, as given below:

  • The school places importance on language learning, including mother tongue, host country language and other languages. (A7)
  • Collaborative planning and reflection recognizes that all teachers are responsible for the language development of students. (C1.8)
  • Teaching and learning demonstrates that all teachers are responsible for the language development of students. (C3.8)

In IB schools, language is not just a communication tool, but an opportunity to understand its (the languages’) history, traditions, practices, art forms, beliefs, and culture. With this approach, IB sees language learning as a vehicle to promote ‘International-Mindedness’ through:

  • Fostering Inter-cultural understanding Celebrating differences
  • Reflecting on commonality, diversity and thereby, developing multiple perspectives.

Some of these objectives, we meet through the ‘Neev Literature Festival’ and ‘Language Day’ in which we celebrated the richness of English as well as other languages. India has 22 official languages and even more cultures that had been represented in the Language Day festival. In addition to this, multiple international languages were also present including but not limited to French, Spanish, and German.

As a part of the IB Evaluation, Authorization and Consultation team, I often notice demonstration of ‘FFF’ (Food, Flags, Festivals) as evidence for the three practices mentioned above. While these meet the standards set, it is often considered a superficial approach to language learning and International-Mindedness. Neev has gone beyond ‘FFF’ in its celebrations. ‘Language Day’ was a parent-driven program supported by the teachers and students. Presentations, guest lectures, games, exhibitions, cultural performances, and food were the means to achieve our objective.

UMAR JAFFAR
HEAD – DIPLOMA PROGRAMME

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